28.06.2008 Lauri Myllyvirta
A Greenpeace airship, measuring 44 meters, has been inflated in front of the House of the Finnish Parliament. The airship carriers a banner on each side, reading “Nuclear power – non merci” and “Mistake, screw-up, Olkiluoto 3”. Greenpeace is calling on the Finnish government to turn down applications for new nuclear reactors in Finland, as Olkiluoto 3 has already turned out to be a fiasco in terms of emission reductions, economics and nuclear safety.
The airship flew in the vicinity of Olkiluoto on Tuesday and was since then standing by for a flight over Helsinki. Weather conditions did not, however, permit safe take-off.
The Finnish government is currently preparing a new climate and energy strategy. The two main ruling parties are trying to force-feed Finns at least one new nuclear reactor as a part of the strategy, ignoring the clearly negative public opinion. To justify construction of more nuclear power, the government is ignoring potentials for improved energy efficiency identified in its own reports. Low energy construction, more effective electric appliances in households and services and better electric drives in industrial applications can cut down electricity use by more than the equivalent of the output of Olkiluoto 3 by 2020.
Had construction of Olkiluoto 3 never been allowed to start, reaching Kyoto targets would have been easier and electricity price in the coming years would have been lower. Renewable energy and energy efficiency could have been scaled up much faster, which would have created thousands of permanent jobs. 3000 tonnes of highly radioactive waste and about 6 million tonnes of uranium mining waste would not be generated. It is time to admit that Olkiluoto 3 has been a mistake and refuse applications for new nuclear reactors.
Greenpeace is now deploying the airship for the first time. The intention is to use it to follow Areva all over the world to expose Areva’s negligence and unfounded promises wherever the company goes. Areva is actively selling its reactors all over the world, including Brazil, Canada, South Africa, China, Arab countries, the US and Turkey in addition to Europe.
Greenpeace summary of the unfounded promises regarding Olkiluoto 3: http://www.greenpeace.org/finland/fi/dokumentit/ol3Factsheet
Photos and video from Helsinki:
Photos from France:
Lauri Myllyvirta, nuclear campaigner, +358 50 3625 981
Juha Aromaa, media officer, +358 50 3696 202